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  #1  
Old 11-20-2001, 06:08 PM
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1988 300TE advice

I might be interested in taking a look at a 1988 300TE with 61kmi on it later this week. I am fairly familiar with the 103 engine and the 124 chassis. However, I have no experience with a wagon.

1988 is the first year for the 124 gas wagon in the US. Are there particular weak areas? Doe it have the self-leveling suspension in the rear on that model year?

TIA.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2001, 06:27 PM
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Yup, *all* wagons in the US have the self leveling suspension in back.

Problems for this car are no different than any other gas engined 124. Look for air conditioning, head gaskets, radiator necks - you know the drill.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2001, 06:45 PM
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About the only wagon-specific stuff to watch for is the wiring harness for the rear hatch (if used a lot it shorts, but can be replaced) and the struts that support that hatch.

Otherwise, a fabulous car-good luck with it!
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2001, 07:15 PM
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observe the rear ride...if its overly stiff and/or doesn't automatically height adjust with added weight...the rear hydraulic system will need a little attention/ maintenance

I've observed posts pertaining to '87-'88 early 300e's M103 motors with cold start issues that appear difficult to source and address (some owners just live with cranking the ignition twice in the morning- - after ceasing the unsuccessful first try)

I also recall a couple of strong posts from unhappy 4-matic wagon owners- specifically disappointed with the reliability and durability of the 4-matic system...

hope this helps
-fad
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2001, 07:57 PM
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Michael:

Saw you have an 88 300TE. Could you be a bit more specific about the wiring harness for the rear hatch? Does his imply it has an electrically operated rear hatch? If that harness fails, can you still manually open it? I am ignorant about wagons and this is my first look at one.

Fad:

Yes, I have heard a lot of sad stories about 4-matic (or is it $germatic?). My co-worker has one and it visits the repair shop twice a year and he "got rid of it". I do not believe the 88 300TEs have this system, right?
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2001, 09:29 PM
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I have 3 small kids, and use the rear hatch a LOT. Eventually the wiring shorted-in my case the rear hatch wouldn't lock along with the rest of the locking system. Also, when you raised the hatch the license plate illumination lights flickered on. In that I intend to keep this car forever, I popped for a new wiring harness (2 parts actually)and replaced the struts as well. The struts last me 3-4 years a set.

FYI I bought the car w/ 68k mi in June of '96; it now has 174k mi., runs as new and burns no oil at all. No tranny work, only motor work has been the classic top end (guides, seals, head gasket @ 160k). I use synthetics throughout. Have had to do the rear main crank seal twice, though; I just installed a 1mm offset seal, so we'll see if it lasts more than the 75k the last one did.

GREAT car overall, and as a wagon in a class by itself.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2001, 11:52 PM
brucelk
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Cool

I am also looking at 300TE's in that year or so. That seems like a great find. How much are they asking for it? Are you still interested in buying it? I have been looking for a while and out here in California they are rare with that low mileage. Good luck
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2001, 08:39 AM
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Carfax reported very different mileage than the seller.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2002, 11:48 PM
carl
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1988 300TE hatch

I took a 1990 300TE into the shop one day. When I went to leave I opened up the rear hatch and then shut it. I grabbed the hatch and pushed it down. The mechanic admonished me by telling me if I continued to close the hatch in this manner I would possibly damage the electronics in the rear hatch. Herr Mechanic showed me the correct way (no doubt illustrated in German in a Benz manual....) to close the hatch. With your hand firmly grab the hatch and slowly lower it...do NOT let go....gently close it until you feel a resistance. A slight push at this point causes the electronic locking system to "grab" the hatch and it then closes by itself the rest of the way.

Try telling this to your wife or teenager.

current car
1984 300TD
VW Jetta GLS TDI wagon
looking for another w124 wagon....shoulda kept the 1990
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2003, 09:10 AM
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'92 TE Available

I have a '92 TE that may be available if you're interested. It's smoke silver with tan interior and in excellent shape. Everything works. Has XM satalite radio. New tires and a bunch of other new stuff.
My work provided me with new car so I am contemplating selling the Benz. Email me if you're interested. I have pictures I can send you.
KSinLA@aol.com
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  #11  
Old 01-01-2003, 11:30 AM
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We use a 91 300TE for our shop delivery car. We have had it for about 3 years and about 75k miles. I hope we have serviced it as I can't really remember doing anything to it, it is constantly on the go during working hours.

Great cars, among my top choices for low cost long term transportation. Absolutely the top if a SW is a priority. Rear seats tend to be more uncomfortable in the wagons. This would be my only consideration. It might not be as good a real estate showing vehicle as it would seam, otherwise, due to this. Does fine for kids.
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